Estimation of a super-resolved PSF for the data reduction of undersampled stellar observations
Deriving an accurate model for fitting photometry with Corot space telescope
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES), 18 Av. Édouard Belin, 31401 Toulouse, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Centre d'Étude Spatiale des Rayonnements (CESR/CNRS), 7 Av. du Colonel Roche, 31077 Toulouse, France
3 Observatoire de Paris-Meudon (LESIA/CNRS), 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, Canada
Accepted: 9 February 2006
Context.Fitting photometry algorithms can be very effective provided that an accurate model of the instrumental point spread function (PSF) is available. When high-precision time-resolved photometry is required, however, the use of point-source star images as empirical PSF models can be unsatisfactory, due to the limits in their spatial resolution. Theoretically-derived models, on the other hand, are limited by the unavoidable assumption of simplifying hypothesis, while the use of analytical approximations is restricted to regularly-shaped PSFs.
Aims.This work investigates an innovative technique for space-based fitting photometry, based on the reconstruction of an empirical but properly-resolved PSF. The aim is the exploitation of arbitrary star images, including those produced under intentional defocus. The cases of both MOST and COROT, the first space telescopes dedicated to time-resolved stellar photometry, are considered in the evaluation of the effectiveness and performances of the proposed methodology.
Methods.PSF reconstruction is based on a set of star images, periodically acquired and presenting relative subpixel displacements due to motion of the acquisition system, in this case the jitter of the satellite attitude. Higher resolution is achieved through the solution of the inverse problem. The approach can be regarded as a special application of super-resolution techniques, though a specialised procedure is proposed to better meet the PSF determination problem specificities. The application of such a model to fitting photometry is illustrated by numerical simulations for COROT and on a complete set of observations from MOST.
Results.We verify that, in both scenarios, significantly better resolved PSFs can be estimated, leading to corresponding improvements in photometric results. For COROT, indeed, subpixel reconstruction enabled the successful use of fitting algorithms despite its rather complex PSF profile, which could hardly be modeled otherwise. For MOST, whose direct-imaging PSF is closer to the ordinary, comparison to other models or photometry techniques were carried out and confirmed the potential of PSF reconstruction in real observational conditions.
Key words: techniques: photometric / methods: data analysis / space vehicles: instruments / stars: oscillations
© ESO, 2006